In Memoriam: The Passing of Countess Morgana of Raglan

Sad news comes this week of the passing of Countess Morgana of Raglan.


Morgana loved this Kingdom and served as its 17th Queen. She also served as Baroness of Lonely Tower, among many other services she did for Calontir.

I remember Morgana as a vibrant, enthusiastic, encouraging and kind woman. Her presence was a constant of my earlier SCA career, and always a welcome one. She will be sorely missed.

Master Mathurin


Calontir has suffered another devastating loss. My friend Countess Morgana of Raglan has departed this world. My heart is heavy. I served the Kingdom as Waterbearing Coordinator when she was Queen. She was one of those who encouraged me when I was first learning how to make beads. I will miss this lady.

Master Mellitus


Morgana loved cats.  She would pick up and try to save any stray cat or kitten that came her way.  We were friends for over 30 years and had lots talks about cats, fiber and just about any thing else.  Moving back to Mag Mor I was looking forward to spending time with her.  I will miss her, she will be missed many.

Countess Salamandra


 

Sing Non Nobis!

In Memoriam: Vortimir Fire-tender

Unknown Artist. Minstrels with a Rebec & a Lute.
13th c. Manasseh Codex. El Escorial, Madrid. Public domain in the US

News that Vortimir Fire-Tender had passed from this world came to us on October 20, 2019.

These are a few memories from those who remember him well. Vortimir had not registered name or device, and the following remembrances have been lightly edited, so names may appear in different spellings as each person recalls them.

Sing Non Nobis!


Vortimir Fire-tender was for many years a fixture at the Bardic Encampment at Lilies. His mobility problems kept him close to camp and in his wheeled chariot, but he was a bright presence among the bards nonetheless. He and his lady wife Dis, also known as Mama Bard, would regale the camp with songs and stories. They welcomed all vagabonds and wayfairers with food, drink and fellowship. Many an afternoon was whiled away with Vortimeer and Mikal the Ram trading stories and lies.

Vortimir and Dis have not been at Lilies for some years, but all the bards who wandered in and out of the Encampment when they were there remember them well and with fondness. May he sit in Odin’s hall with Mikal and trade stories and lies for all time.

Master Mathurin Kerbusso


Vortimeer Fire-tender was the anchor of the Bardic Encampment at Lilies War.  Mobility issues made it difficult for him to leave camp, so he made it a place of welcome for everyone.  Because he was always in camp, the Bard Tent was designated a “safe place” at the War, where kids could always find an adult if they needed one.

But on Monday, the night of Bardi Gras, he would mount his trusty motorized steed and lead the parade around the war, throwing candy and beads, and leading children back to camp for a short kids’ party before the grownup party began.  He was also the one to put Bardi Gras to bed, staying up late swapping stories and songs with Mikal the Ram, and other hardy guests, until the wee hours.  The rest of the war, he made certain the water jugs were always topped up and available to ease the thirst of visitors and passersby alike.

Vortimeer wrote songs, some bawdy, some wholesome, and had an amazing tenor voice.  He could sing lead, or harmonize as needed.  He knew all the “Calontir standards”, and was always ready to sing.  Dis, aka Mom of Bard, would often perform with him, and he wrote many songs just for her.  I was honored to have a verse written about me in one of his songs.  (one of the bawdy ones, I must admit)
Early in his SCA career, he served as herald in the Shire of Wyvern Cliffe.  I remember him crying most of the Toys for Tots tournament, before it was too big a tourney for just one voice.

These are just some of my random memories of Vortimeer.  I hope others can fill in gaps that I have surely left.  I’ll close with lines of one of his songs (the name escapes me! dammit! ask Ma’az)

“My heart grows so heavy, my vision grows dim.
But I’ll think of you always, til we meet again.”

Mistress Dorcas Whitecap


 

It was a dark, star filled night at a Lilies War many years ago when I was winding my way down that dusty road through merchants row towards the lake. As I turned the bend I could hear voices raised in song coming from a tent just to my left. The flicker of candles and lanterns from within gave a warm and welcoming glow to the darkness around me. I could just see the shadows of people sitting in what appeared to be a circle, it was their singing that reached out to me and drew me closer.

I was young, shy, and painfully uncertain. I didn’t want to disturb a private encampment but I couldn’t resist the Siren of music. I stopped in the shadows just behind a large, throne-like chair in which sat a bear of man with long, amber colored hair. His voice was mellow and strong, well suited to the sentimental and emotional lyrics that were being sung under that tent. I looked around and, though I recognized some of the faces, I didn’t really know anyone there. I was going to slip back into the night but the man must have spotted me from the corner of his eye. He snaked out a hand and caught mine, drawing me closer. He had eyes that sparkled with laughter and mischief as he handed me a flashlight and a binder opened to a song.  He guided me around so I could sit on the edge of his chair and asked me to help him out. So there I was, holding a binder and flashlight, lighting the words of a cheerful, slightly suggestive, song that may have been about a lady and dragon but honestly I am not certain after all these years. This would be the first of many interactions with a man I would come to know as Vortimir Firetender.

He was a kind, gentle man filled with humor, empathy, and so much life despite all the hardships that came his way. I would chat with him at Lilies War and raise my voice with his in song and I loved hearing his stories.  He was there to encourage me when I faltered trying to find my way and my voice in the bardic circle.  I also worked with him and his lovely wife, Tess, at the KC Renn Fest a time or two. They were wonderful and generous people who took me in when my car died at a long ago Toys for Tots. Despite having a house already full of guests they fed me well and found me a corner to sleep in. I tried to express my gratitude but I never felt like it was enough. I will always have fond memories of Vortimir and wish that I hadn’t lost track of him. It broke my heart to hear of his passing, the world is a little darker and quieter without him in it
Yours in Service and Song,

In Memoriam: Master Cynwulf Rendell of Æthelmearc

Because Rendell was known to many in the Calontir archery community who traveled to Pennsic, the Falcon Banner is re-printing this “In Memoriam” from the Æthelmearc Gazette


On Saturday, September 28, THLord Cynwulf Rendell was too ill to travel to the Harvest Raid event in the Shire of Heronter, where he was scheduled to be elevated to the Order of the Pelican for his work in the thrown weapons and archery communities. So that morning King Timothy, together with a group of Rendell’s friends and peers, instead drove over an hour to Rendell’s home in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael to bestow the Pelican upon him there, and also to induct Rendell’s lady, Eleanore Godwin, into the Order of the Millrind. There were tears and laughter and many words of praise for Rendell’s kindness, generosity, and service.

The following day, Master Rendell’s son, Lord Gawin Hawkseye, posted this announcement to Facebook:

Dear friends, family, and supporters of our house. Last evening at 4:30pm Master Cynwulf Rendell passed on from this world to the next. His day was filled with words from his friends and gifts from his loved ones. It was a day of a house full of people that have supported the love of his art and strength and goodness of his character, and in turn he showed his devotion to the group. We thank you for making his final day so special.

Master Rendell and his family joined the SCA in the Shire of Heronter in 1994. He was immediately interested in archery and thrown weapons, becoming a marshal in short order, eventually taking on the role of Kingdom Thrown Weapons Marshal. He traveled around the Kingdom, organizing and running lines and training

Duchess Dorinda Courtenay:

Rendell served as the Heronter archery marshal from the time he joined us until they moved. Every week he brought all the targets and loaner equipment for a half dozen people. He spent so much time teaching during the practice that he had to come early to get in a round for himself. He and his lady and his son also helped during the reigns of Cygnus and Dorinda. They took some time off, but for the last 5 or so years, he came back to run archery at Harvest Raid. Each year he created unique and fun shoots for people of all skill levels. He worked to train others, and even agreed to serve as our archery marshal, but his health did not allow it. We will miss him very much.

Lady Simonetta d’Alfasi:

I only met Rendell a few years ago; he and his lady wife joined about the time I took my extended break. When Siobhan and I came back to the SCA in 2016, our first event was Baronial Champs. Rendell was running thrown weapons and archery. He was very kind to Siobhan’s child, showing them how to hold the axe and where to stand to throw it. I was impressed with his patience. The following week we all went off to archery, and once again Rendell was patient with me and showed me how to get most of the arrows down range and not into my feet. Time passed, I got better and Rendell began to teach me how to make targets, how to run a range, how to inspect bows, and how to marshal. I think he was as proud as I was surprised when I was awarded my Golden Alce. Every milestone reached by any of his Hounds made him as proud as if we were all his children. It’s why we all called him Papa Hound.

Mistress Anna Eisenkopf:

When he was Kingdom Thrown Weapons Marshall almost 20 years ago, he traveled everywhere and was pivotal in the growth of thrown weapons at that time.

Master Jacopo di Niccolo:

We often sat and shared information about our ranges and frequently this developed into new and fun ranges. He loved to challenge himself and others.

Baron Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndyfrdwy on the Rhydderich Hael Facebook group:

My heart is torn in half. He was a kind and gentle man who was a great teacher, a role model for us all. He will be sorely missed. We have lost a great light, so we must shine all the brighter ….all of us…Together. I see where some now doubt that they have a place. Everyone in the Hael has a place. Do not doubt. Do not let the weasels overcome the promise that He saw in each and every one of us (yes Rendell, you were right). I know we can strive to fulfill those beliefs…Together.

Fair skies, Rendell. Soft winds to you and a stout string to your bow.

Baron Edward Harbinger:

I remember his fun side. At one event we were sitting together and decided that Lady Simonetta’s stuffed rabbit needed a bow. We set about looking for materials and came up with a wooden coffee stir stick and a piece of string. We next needed to see if the bow would actually work, so we broke some toothpicks in half and tried to shoot them, at objects around the hall. Our wives found us doing this and told us we were not allowed to sit together anymore (especially during court). The stuffed rabbit still carries that bow, if I’m not mistaken.

TH Lady Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne:

It was my greater pleasure to benefit from his sage and ever humorous instruction in thrown weapons. This goes back to about 2009. Not only were his tips clear and true and simple, but his declaration to my sister to “just throw like you are aiming at your husband” has given us many belly laughs!

Master Juan Miguel Cezar:

Due to his health the elevation was not able to happen at Harvest Raid and His Majesty along with a small entourage went to his house. When they came back one of them brought me a small beanie baby that Rendell wanted to give to my daughter. Sadly she was not with me since she was on her way back from Myrtle Beach with my parents and by the time she got home Sunday evening he had already passed. I wanted so bad to take a photo of her with it and send it to him as thanks. His last thoughts were of others, just like he was in life.”

Mistress Sadira spoke at Rendell’s Pelican ceremony on behalf of the Order of the Laurel, She graciously shared her words:

I am Sadira bint Wassouf, Mistress of the Laurel and Pelican, 6th Jewel of Æthelmearc, Second and Eighth Baroness of Thescorre. But today I would speak about Rendell for the Laurels. Sort of…

Rendell is unquestionably an artist. Martial arts are called arts for a reason. The flight of an arrow or a throwing knife is art in motion with a satisfying THUNK at the end. And when Rendell shoots, there is joy in his eyes. Whether designing ranges and targets, whether shooting or watching others, the passion of youth has never left him. And the true heart of art is passion.

But where does art end and service begin?

I suspect that Rendell was born with service in his very soul. Some people do service, but Rendell is service. I only became fully aware of his service when I stepped up as Baroness the second time. Now, if you are ever stupid enough (I mean, lucky enough) to become a landed Baron or Baroness, you need to know that about 45 seconds after you don the coronet, a “thing” happens. The “thing” makes you want to say “REALLY??? NOW???”

But this time the “thing” impacted archery and even with all of my skills as a counselor and teacher, I could not even figure out what the “thing” was – much less untangle it. Archery in Thescorre was at a complete impasse.

Finally, in desperation I crashed a meeting of Kingdom archery marshals at a winter event and explained the “thing” as best I could. I asked bluntly, “What can you do for me?”

Without hesitation, Rendell said, “I will help you.” Now, we hear these words all the time, but something in his tone made me believe.

That spring, Rendell showed up at the first archery practice, and he kept coming back for months and months.

We have only one truly precious possession in this life and that is TIME. Rendell showered us with his time, poured out with reckless abandon, with patience and joy in his eyes.

So where does service end and art begin?

It is an art to bring people together, to teach your art and see the joy of a child bloom in their eyes – then set them free to pass it on.

In Rendell art and service meld seamlessly and when that happens, the Great Dream we all hope to live in the SCA comes true.

My peer? I suspect we would all have to work very hard to become his peer.

In addition to the Pelican, Master Rendell was recognized with many Kingdom and Baronial awards for excellence and skill, including the White Horn for thrown weapons, the Scarlet Guard for archery, the Cornelian for courtesy, and awards from three baronies in recognition of his service including to groups in which he did not live.

Ralph Spencer was a copy machine repairman. He is survived by his wife, TH Lady Eleanore Godwin, and his son, Lord Gawin Hawkseye. No funeral services will be held; TH Lady ELeanore announced there will be a Celebration of Life for Rendell on November 10 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Wrights Corners Firehall, 4043 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY 14094. Doors open at 12:30pm for set up. Pastor Tom will speak at 1:15pm and there will be an open mic after for folks to share stories, laughs, and love.
Food will be pot luck, no kitchen use, just the sink. Bring your own dishes.

Memorial information is available here: https://www.amigone.com/obituary/Ralph-E.-Spencer/Amherst-New-York/1858926

Donations may be made in Ralph’s memory to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, 311 Citrus Street, Jamestown, NY 14701.

In Memoriam: The Passing of Aine nic Taillieur

The words of Mistress Kristine nic Taillieur:


Courtesy of the Knowne World Memorial Shield Project

On September 3, 2019, Annette Barker (nee Taylor,) known to many as Aine nic Taillieur, passed from this world to the next. Lest any question her might, let all know of her story. Though unusual, a clan of Draugr arose in her homeland which called themselves Cancer. A strong warrior woman, she fought bravely for two years, wounding and destroying members of the clan through guile, knife, and even resorting to a poison which pained her deeply and caused the loss of her locks.

After battling fiercely, however, it soon became apparent to Aine that the war could not be won without great cost. Knowing that, without a home base, the enemy could be stopped, she planned one final tactic. She pulled the Draugr into a false sense of security, allowing them to believe they had won and drawing them into a tight circle around herself. At the last moment, she set the land about her ablaze, trapping the Draugr within. Alas, she too, was trapped.

Thus passed Aine Nic Taillier from this world, her battle cry screamed across the land and the sounds of Savage Daughter ringing in her ears.

Such was her love for those around her, to protect them from the enemy. Such was she a mother, who nurtured all who met her. Such was she loved that, upon hearing of her passing, cups were raised across the meadhall to toast to her victory and to the memory of such a great woman.

Skol, for the hero Aine nic Taillieur, who chose to fight until the end, taking the enemy with her


 

 

 

 

Sing Non Nobis!

Memories of Master Eadweard Boicewright

Nearly a month ago, my lord husband told me that Master Eadweard Boicewright, one of my dearest mentors and friends, had passed away. He said that he had suffered a cardiac event.

It broke my heart.

Papa, as those who learned from him call him, was a pillar, not just in our kingdom, but in the Society at large. He was a keeper of our memories, he dispensed wisdom to kings and peasants, and he gave of himself whenever and where ever he saw a need, without any expectation of praise or reward.

The first time we met was at Valor, in 2011. I was mending a friend’s trousers when he sat down across from me at the table. We talked about my SCA name, about trouser seam stability (he told me how his trousers were split when he was called into court to receive a Calon Cross), and mundane things. In retrospect, I see now how he was sizing me up and getting a feel for the kind of person I am.

I guess he liked what he saw because a few months later, he sponsored me in my first Queen’s Prize Tournament and introduced me to Marcella (Mama), his lady wife. She taught me how to make cloth buttons, finger loop braid, lucet, and heddle weave.  It became a habit during my first year in the SCA: I’d go hang out in Papa’s wood wright shop and make tools then go upstairs and ask Mama to teach me how to use them.

Since I moved away, I’ve missed that bond and rapport. Not many people will drive twenty-thirty minutes to take a broke college student out for a nice lunch because she spent the bulk of her much-need Spring break bedridden with Strep Throat, but Papa did. Not many laurels would steer apprentices that could be stars in their belts toward other peers because they see how they could flourish in that relationship, but Papa did.

To be clear, Papa was not the sort of man who brandished his title. I still remember the grin that spread across his face when he finally told me he was a laurel and saw my face pale as I shrunk away a little. I was still new enough to have Peer Fear and had been talking easily  with him for over an hour at that point, so I was a more than a little intimidated. More importantly, though, what he said to me about being a laurel gave me the first inkling that it was something I could aspire towards. He told me that being a laurel meant being a teacher and teaching is something to which I have always been drawn. That seed has remained with me eight years later.

Papa was also one of the most insightful people I have ever known and the most honest. He was the man he always aspired to be, like the Kipling poem he was fond of quoting: a man who talked with crowds without losing his virtue and walked with kings without losing the common touch. I wasn’t done learning from him and I’ll always miss our talks.

In Memoriam: Master Eadweard Boicewright

Courtesy The Knowne World Memorial Shield Project

Word came to us this week of the passing of Master Eadward Boicewright

Memorial services are being planned for the Kingdom and Society at large. Arrangements have also been made for a memento on the Memorial Ship at Pennsic this year.


Come gather ye pipers and long chanters blow
Fetch drum and a tabor and play a march slow.
I raise up my cup and I share drink with thee,
A cup of our tears to quench the dark sea.

I grieve with my cousins of Calontir and the Known World at the passing of Master Eadweard Boicewright, who has touched so many of us. I mourn with his lady wife Marcella, his family, and his household. I feel most keenly the loss of one of my dearest friends.

Courtesy The Calontiri Wiki

There was a time long ago when Queen Alethea asked me to make a strand of beads that would be given as Her Majesty’s token at the upcoming Queen’s Prize Tourney. I made the beads as Her Majesty asked and waited to see who would win them. When the beads were presented, I made it a point to meet the recipient after Court that evening. I’d wanted to know who would be wearing my art.

When I introduced myself to Lord Eadweard Boicewright that evening, I did not know that one day he would be a laurel, a Calontir legend, and one of my best friends. On that day, he was fairly new to the SCA and had just completed his second Queen’s Prize entry. I still hear people talk about the lathe that he entered that year. That day seems so long ago now, yet I still remember it clearly.

In the fullness of time, both of our roles in Calontir grew. Our friendship grew as well. Eadweard Boicewright brought his talent, his knowledge, his generosity, and his hospitality to the realm. He taught any would ask and he welcomed all to his camp. As a merchant, he sold practical wood wares and weaving tools. I have heard of many weavers who got their first loom from Eadweard. Many weaving instructors tell of how he would provide tools for their classes, often by donation. I couldn’t count the times when I would I be sitting in his camp at Lilies and someone would come in with a broken tent pole or other problem and ask “Eadward, can you fix this?” And he could and did.

Courtesy Johann Steinarsson

I spoke for the Order of the Laurel when Eadweard was elevated to the peerage. I spoke of ideals like courtesy and hospitality and how it was a Laurel’s duty to enrich the Kingdom. Eadweard would come to embody those ideals. There was always shade and refreshment at his camp. Many of our folk talk of  how Eadweard welcomed them when they were new to SCA, how he encouraged them, and how he helped them find their path. He was an inspiration to many and example to us all.

I often hear people speak of how the world is a little darker when someone who has touched us like Eadweard has pass. However, it is not. Grief makes us feel this way. When the grief fades and the loss is less keenly felt, we will see that the light has not dimmed. It glows in our memory and in the legacy of our lost friend. Eadweard’s light and legacy will live on in everyone whose life he touched, in Calontir and beyond. When we share that light with those around us, Eadward’s gift to us grows.

It is right and fitting that we mourn. Let Non-Nobis resound through the land. Let glasses be raised in honor and sorrow. Let us cry and feel our loss. Let us comfort one another and support our friends. But let us not forget that while we sorrow, we carry Master Eadweard in our hearts. Let us all strive to keep his example of courtesy, friendship, hospitality, and honor alive in the days and years ahead.

Master Mellitus of Rouncivale

Sing Non Nobis!

 

In Memoriam: The Passing of Anlon McMatha

 

 

 

 

Word came to us this week of the passing of Lord Anlon McMatha

Many of you will remember Anlon from his many years at Cornucopia at Lilies or as a steadfast pillar of the Shire of Dun Ard.

The THL Tola Rufusdóhtor remembers

Anlon, proprietor of Cornucopia. My friend.

I met Anlon 8 years ago at an event in Lost Moor. With his ready smile he was selling his wares. He often referred to that store, Cornucopia, as “Lilies General Store”.

He was always ready to make a person laugh or listen when seas troubled. He was never too busy. At Corucopia he always had a drink and a shady spot for anyone who needed a rest. Such was his generous heart.

Our world is a dimmer place now, as Anlon crosses to that place where there is no pain or suffering. He was loved by many and will be sorely missed.

Visitation for Anlon (Melvin Rice) will be at 10 am with services following at 11 am on Saturday, June 29 at the Belden-Larkin funeral home in Leavenworth KS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Smithsonian Institution.

James Smithsonian Society
Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012, MRC 712
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Sing Non Nobis!

 

 

 

In Memoriam: The Passing of Genevieve Darroch

 

Lady Moire inghean Neill, via the Calontir Bards email list:


It is with a heavy heart that I must pass this word along; HL Genevieve Darroch passed away last night in the Outlands.  She was one of the founding members of the Shire of Flinthyll, Apprentice to Mistress Lucie, Master Mikal and Master Eadward. She was one of the first bards I interacted with and the one who presented me with the “big damn stick” and pronounced me the Bardic Champion these many years ago. She was a bright person who was full of joy and laughter. Though she had moved to the Outlands she is still remembered in the halls of Calontir.

Ed. Note:  I recall Genevieve from our time on the archery field together. She was always a joy to shoot with and to be around. I had lost track  of her when she moved, and am deeply saddened to hear of her passing –Mathurin

Viking Archery Owner in Hospice

With much sadness, Rask, owner of Viking Archery Supply has been moved home to start hospice care, and is declining rapidly his wife says. Due to this he himself will not make it to Lilies War this year.

I do know he had made arrangements for his shop to be turned over to new Scadian owners, but I am not privy to if they will still make Lilies because of the above circumstances, and I leave that to the Lilies Merch-o-crat to handle.

Please keep him and his family in your thoughts during this time. Thank you. Cards and such may be sent if you wish addressed to:
The Merrill Family
9300 South St. Rd. 3
Muncie, IN 47302